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African American Military History Museum Celebrates Veterans Day with NYT Bestselling Author, Open House


Hattiesburg---New York Times bestselling author, Adam Makos, will sign copies of his book, Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice as part of a Veterans Day celebration at the African American Military History Museum on Saturday, November 14th at 11:00 a.m.  Devotion tells the remarkable story of Lieutenant Thomas J. Hudner and Ensign Jesse L. Brown, two navy pilots who had an unlikely friendship in the midst of segregated America and the Korean War.

Jesse Brown, the first African American aviator in the navy, was a Hattiesburg native and is honored in the African American Military History Museum. Makos started writing Devotion in 2007 after meeting Tom Hudner by chance.

Makos will be signing books as part of a special Veterans Day program at the museum, which will begin at 11:00 am. Ensign Jesse L. Brown’s daughter, Pamela Knight, will be in attendance.

“So far I've been really impressed with the book.  For me the insight into who the man my father was has been really poignant,” Knight said.

“ It really fleshed out who he was as a man and for that I'm grateful. I never knew a lot of personal information about him so it's been great to get to know him through the book.”

Jesse L. Brown’s plane was hit by enemy fire and crashed on December 4, 1950.  Despite Hudner’s heroic attempt to save Ensign Brown, he could not be rescued.  Ensign Brown was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his Korean War combat service.

 “There are definitely some difficult moments, as we all know  the outcome,  but it’s great that this book will reach a new audience and hopefully introduce the story of Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner to so many,” Knight said.

The event is part of a Veterans Day Celebration and is free and open to the public. Copies of “Devotion” will be available for purchase at the Museum.

The Museum will also host a Veterans Day Open House on Wednesday, November 11th, from 11am-1pm. Guests are invited to visit the Museum and celebrate the men and women veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Refreshments will be provided. The Open House follows the Veterans Day Parade and Program, which will culminate in Historic Downtown Hattiesburg.

About the African American Military History Museum:

The African American Military History Museum's regular hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday with special appointments available. The USO Club opened on March 22, 1942 and was constructed by community volunteers who invested more than 40,000 hours in the project. It is currently the only surviving USO built exclusively for African American soldiers and in 2003 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 150 years of African American military history is on display in the Museum.

The African American Military History Museum is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility. Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing, operating and promoting tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area. For more information, call 601.450.1942.